In 2005, Shadow the Hedgehog released for the GCN, Xbox and PS2. This is one of the most controversial games in the Sonic series due to the additions of weapons, a maturer story and the mild language with the usage of 'Damn' and 'Hell'.The plot starts with a newspaper talking about the Festival of the Black Comet and Shadow having a terrible image of Maria getting shot by a GUN solider. Then, some dude called Black Doom comes in and tells Shadow to bring Chaos Emeralds for the "promised time" and then disappears in a bunch of explosions for some retarded reason. Shadow was curious about this "promised time" and decided to go and get those Chaos Emeralds.
The game has different missions for you to go through. These missions are Hero, Neutral and Dark. These missions determine what type of ending you get in the game. These endings are not real endings and are just mere distortions of the truth. This game makes you get 10 endings before encountering the Last Story.The weapon gameplay lets you wield weapons such as guns, swords, missile launchers and knives. They all have a durability or ammo number and when that depletes, the weapon is automatically dropped and you have to rely on your homing attacks and your punch-punch-kick combo move. Doing something bad fills your Chaos Blast gauge and lets you perform Chaos Blast and doing something good fills you Chaos Control gauge, which lets you slow down time in bosses or fast forward himself through a stage.
The only good things about the game include the soundtrack, the darker story, the fact that the game had the two best lines said in the game, which were "Where's that DAMN 4th Chaos Emerald?!" and "Find the Computer Room", the better voice acting than Heroes had and the lack of Special Stages (because going in special stages in Heroes was a nightmare!!). And another thing to add, I don't mind if the game had swearing. It's not like they had any vulgar language and besides, in the Japanese version of Sonic X, Sonic swore in it. Here's the link to the YouTube video if you don't believe me: Sonic swears in JPN Sonic X. Other than that, this is a terrible game in the series and I will explain why.
As usual in a 3D Sonic game, the controls are slippery as all hell, but because of the "modified" Renderware engine, the controls are more slippery than Heroes!!! Even the controls for vehicles are retarded and poorly configured!! I don't now what went through Sega's heads when they were programming the controls, but this is some of the worst controls I've ever seen!!! Even certain moves like the Homing Attack and Light Speed Dash are finicky as sh*t! These controls are the cause of many of my deaths throughout the game!! I wish they fixed this in development, but NO! Sega had to be a bunch of air-headed morons and leave the poor controls in!!
One of my biggest gripes about the game is the new feature of guns. The gun gameplay is unnecessary and abnormal to a Sonic game. Also, when you aim for an enemy, half the time the gun doesn't aim properly because it is aiming somewhere else instead on the target you want to hit. Apparently at the time, Sega thought that putting guns in was good to attract Call of Duty players to this game. What the f**k?! Firstly, Sonic and CoD do not mix at all, Secondly, not a lot of people like CoD and thirdly, I don't think even the CoD players would like this crappy game, so Sega were CLEARLY not thinking straight when adding guns to a Sonic game!!
Another thing that returns from Sonic Heroes is the repetitive and poor level design, only this time, Sega went and gave different level names and music for those levels. For example Cosmic Fall has similar level design to the Ark or Mad Matrix is similar to Digital Circuit. Certain levels like The Doom and the infamous Lost Impact stage are just mazes, which will take you ages to find the end. This was a very lazy and idiotic move by Sega and Sonic Team and just proved that they learned nothing from Sonic Heroes!!
Another annoying thing about the game is the fact that you have to get 10 endings to unlock the The Last Story. Instead of increasing replayability like some review sites say, it just unnecessarily increases the length of the game. This kind of bullsh*t is what Sonic Heroes did but this game does it worse. It's just repetitive and stupid and I wish they got rid of that feature or at least made you only do Hero, Neutral and Dark instead of this Semi-Hero and Semi-Dark crap they want you to do. What's worse is that these endings are not even the real endings of the game, they are just fake, which brings the question: "What the hell is the point of getting these endings then?!".
Like Sonic Heroes on PS2, the game runs like utter crap at a lot of times and the loading times are abysmal. This crap even happens between cut-scenes as well!!! Some of the sound effects in this game sound as if they were just slapped on the game as mp3 files. While people blame the PS2 for not being powerful, I blame Sega for the poor Renderware engine that was used for this game. The PS2 is not at fault for the poor frame rate and loading times, otherwise games like Crash Nitro Kart and MGS2: Sons of Liberty would run as bad as this version of Shadow the Hedgehog!!
Some of the missions in this game are just time-wasting in this game like when you have to defeat a certain amount of enemies or go and destroy a certain amount of objects. This style of gameplay is based off of Chaotix missions in Sonic Heroes, which is bad because I hated those missions in that game with a passion and Sega just bring them back and make them even more convoluted!! The only good missions are the ones where you have to get to the goal ring! I never want to see these kind of missions in a Sonic game EVER!!!
Another reason for any cheap deaths is due to a wonky and unresponsive camera. This has been a problem in a number of Sonic 3D games and comes back again in Shadow the Hedgehog! Why they can't program a good camera in this game is just questionable to me and makes me wonder if Sega are any good at making 3D Sonic games.
Overall, this is one of the worst Sonic games I have ever played as well as one of the worst PS2 games ever! Sega and Sonic Team were clearly on marijuana when they made this game with all the sh*t they put into that game. All this and the use of the Renderware engine brings me to renaming this games Sonic Heroes 2: The Wrath of the Black Arms instead of Shadow the Hedgehog, due to how similar and bad both Heroes and Shadow the Hedgehog were. If you haven't played this game, then DON'T!!! Especially if you did not like Sonic Heroes!
I would honestly like to sequel to Shadow the Hedgehog, maybe even his own series, so long as they get rid of all the flaws of this game and they try not to make the game too edgy, as it's over edgy-ness is what caused the game to be this poor.
Note: By the time you read this review, I would have sold this game, as I finished it yesterday.